In response

Dear Editor,

Many thanks to Mr. Reiff for his thoughtful and well written responses (10/19) to the series of rather rhetorical questions regarding gun control issues which I had posed a while back. His response beautifully exemplifies precisely the kind of civil and constructive discussion we as a nation need to be engaging in regarding critical issues such as this, and I hope others will follow his fine example. Thank you, sir.

With regard to some of the specific points which you raised, I totally agree that better enforcement of existing laws would be a crucial step in the right direction, and would also point out that such laws and the degree to which they are effectively enforced reportedly varies quite a bit from state to state.

It should also be noted that: 1) a rule blocking the sale of firearms to some individuals with a history of serious mental health difficulties was repealed thanks to GOP efforts in February of this year; 2) a bill legalizing the purchase of silencers (“The Hearing Protection Act”) is being pushed by the GOP, and has been since June of this year; 3) there really are major loopholes whereby individuals can avoid background checks by purchasing them at gun shows or (in more than 30 states) on-line from private non-licensed sellers.

As you rightfully pointed out, we cannot totally eliminate such mass shootings through legislation — yet surely there must be steps we can take to at least reduce the incidence and human costs entailed. Other developed countries do not suffer the number of mass shootings (nor gun deaths in general) which occur here.

And it is only through civil, thoughtful, and constructive discussions at all levels that we will be able to work together in an effort to figure out reasonable ways (which certainly must take into account the rights of responsible gun owners) of addressing this issue and reducing the number of innocent lives lost through such horrifying incidents.

So, once again — thank you for your input, sir. May we all make such an effort to engage in respectful and solution-focused discussions regarding the many critical issues facing our nation.

Respectfully submitted,

Dale E. Buonocore,